Lightning, Fire, and other stuff

I'm new and using HF3Pro. I've been messing with it and watching tuts and having  lots of fun. But I have 3 things I need help with right now.

1. I can't see the keyframes. I have vision issues. So, is there a way to change the UI colors?

2. How would I get fire to spread across the screen? Like, if you set your carpet or a forest ablaze, it would spread.

3. I want the lightning to (a) flash instaead of being constant and (b) flicker/wrap around, say, a person's body like an electrical aura or something.


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    1. Sadly, no. However the wishlist thread has requests for "re-skins." You can add your voice, but Hitfilm 3 Pro is no longer updated. If custom colors are added, you'll need to upgrade. 

    2. Depends on your method. Stock footage will, well, depend on the footage. Using Hitfilm's procedural fire, you'd animate the source layer to be a spreading white blob. 

    Procedural fire tutorials in Hitfilm 2 Ultimate

    3) The flicker effect can flicker lightning. Or, manually keyframing the lightning intensity in the lightning effect. 

    To wrap around a person, you'll need to assign the endpoints of the lightning to points, then adjust values to taste. There's a lot of chaotic action in lightning, and sometimes it just requires experimentation and keyframes. 

    For lightning to pass BEHIND an actor, either shoot on green screen ti overlay the actor over the background and lightning, or copy the actor over the lightning and use masking tools to roto where you want the actor occluding the lightning. 

  • I guess I don't fully get it yet.

    2. How would you animate the spreading blob? I have an idea that you'd keyframe it from the left to the right, or the bottom to the top, but with what?[

    3. What do you mean by "assign endpoints"?

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    3) Lightning tutorial.

    2) probably the easiest thing to do would be to mask a white plane in its own Composite Shot to use as a fire source layer. 

    Masking/compositing tutorial.

  • Yay, I now have spreading fire!

    Will it cause problems if anything is "falling off" or outside the boundaries of the shot?ppp

    And, dumb question, how do i create the video to upload?

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Nah, anything outside the shot jist isn't shown, but its fine to have. 

    Export? Have another long, but thorough video.

    Check the description for the timecodes of the Hitfilm 4 sections. On a computer clicking the timecodes takes you directly there. 

  • Well @Heaventhunder someone has been busy, a good range of effects. Certainly looks like you got the hang of a few things there. I like the spining image, that felt nice and smooth.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Nice! Looks like the Hitfilm workflow is starting to make sense to you. 

  • edited April 2017

    @HeavenThunder Your floating particles are nicely done, similar to this:

  • Thanks, y'all. I Stll have a lot to learn, it seems, but I'm enjoying it.

  • @Yeremya WOW! that looks amazing! was that all done in Hitfilm? do you have a tutorial on how to make that?

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @san_2k6 that linked video is a 3D particle simulation is Blender, and isn't Hitfilm at all. 

  • but blender is also free and VERY powerful if you know how to use it

  • Blender drives me crazy.  I rarely use it.  One reason being it doesn't work like the one in my kitchen.

  • @HeavenThunder  I'm right there with you.  I try and try and I cannot get a decent Margarita out it!   Spent all day yesterday studying Ocean tutorials in Blender and I am still not there.  Do have a great shot of the Seaview crusing along and submerging but I can't get the water to look like water.  But I have made some headway with Blender mostly thanks to a series for Absolute Beginners on Youtube by Jacob Lewis:

    I need to get back to it as I have only done the first 8 and adding meterials is where I am stuck now.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Blender. The only software in the history of software to use a RIGHT-CLICK for primary selection. Insanely powerful, insanely terrible interface. 

  • @tddavis There's always a  HitFilm approach to water


  • @HeavenThunder I've seen that tutorial and it does look really good, but I'm trying to get this interaction between a 3D model and the water thing to work.  I'm close but nodes are not my thing and I still can't get it to look less cartoony.  It's all in the materials and that's where I fail.  But thanks for the reminder about that effect in Hitfilm. Here is where I'm at but there's supposed to be more foam around the sub and I don't know what all those white blotches are??? They weren't there until I added a sky.  So settings, setting and more settings...

  • I can see why you'd think it's toony. I never got anywhere near that far in Blender, but if  those weren't there before the sky, Is it a reflection thing? 

  • That's what I'm thinking as well.  I'm going to check into other sky options in Blender online, and if not I'm going to keep the Seaview animation but work through the tutorial again to see what I did wrong...and I'm sure I did somewhere.  It won't let me revisit the foam settings on the water effect for some reason.

  • @tddavis the white blobs are reflected clouds, yes?

    I used to have a shortcut for photo-real oceans in Blender but I can't for the life of me remember what it was... I'll see if I can find an old project file

  • @JMcAllister  That is much appreciated.  This was my first foray into nodes and I tried to copy the settings the tutorial used exactly but something went awry.  I just used a sky setting that was in Blender and didn't input any photo so I am unclear if those are cloud reflections or not.  Blender IS powerful but Triem23 is right the learning curve is least for me.

  • edited May 2017


    My "shortcut" for the ocean material is as follows:

    -For the material for the ocean, use a single glass shader (with the refractive index set to that of seawater) for the surface, and nothing else

    -Use a photograph as an environment texture for the world, and under "ray visibility" turn off transmission rays

    If you're using the ocean modifier, I would suggest setting "resolution" higher rather than lower, it basically makes the ocean more detailed which generally makes it look better in my opinion. But obviously this impacts performance because you are increasing the number of vertices

    here's one I made earlier,:

  • @JMcAllister Thank you so much.  I'll give this a try before starting over.  It said to use a glass shader but then there all sorts of other nodes attached to it, so I shall see.

  • @tddavis yeah my way is a bit of a cheat. 

    By using only a plain glass shader, the water is completely clear. But by turning off transmission rays for the background texture, this means we can't see the background through the ocean. This is an approximate model for the absorption of the water, without having to explicitly simulate it with a shader. 

    The only problem is that you don't get the gradual fall-off in visibility as objects move deeper into the water. 

  • Maybe it is so obvious and I'm just a blind, but I can't make fire to disappear smoothly as it appears from beginning. I can set how many frames it last, but then it disappears unnatural. What I'm missing?

  • Depends how you want it to disappear. I did it by keyframing the o7pacity.

  • I want it disappear as it appears, but vice versa. By lowering flames. Changing opacity is not realistic and natural way how flames are burn down.

  • Have you tried keyframing Source Fill and/or Source Intensity to have the fire die down.

  • edited May 2017

    @NormanPCN - Of course! Thanks. I have been blind. Another prove that no need to do things with sleepy head. :)

    Source Fill and Movement together did a good job.

    Thanks again.

Sign in to comment